Friday, January 29, 2010

much to report

It's gratifying to learn I'm not the only one with weird ocean-phobia. Don't forget to comment--today's your last chance to win January's Fabulous--I So Don't Do Spooky by Barrie Summy.

Things are heating up politically of late--I'm plotting how to Take on the Man regarding recycling and garbage pick up in My Fair City. I'm also taking a long hard look at school issues. I feel called (oh man, did I just sound like Sarah Palin there!) to do more than volunteer as Happyland PTA president...but the questions are where? what? how? I'm slowly gathering information to help me make wise and impactful decisions...

Mr. T started a youth wrestling program. By "started" I mean he's participating--he didn't get it started. Our oldest has yet to really find a passion for anything. He's been exposed to the gamut--guitar lessons, basketball, flag football, karate, soccer, baseball, swimming, Boy Scouts, cooking classes and art classes. We've bought him Legos, models to build, puzzles, books and hunting gear. This is the first time he's come home happy and enthusiastic after being made to work hard. Maybe it's because we have NO wrestling background in our household (I dated a few wrestlers back in the day...112, 119, 135 weight classes...but just because I dated wrestlers doesn't mean I ever watched a single match or anything). He's truly on his own with no real advice or guidance from us. Last night they handed out wrestling propaganda--wrestling is HUGE in this town (a legion of conference & state titles,we even boast an Olympic wrestler), and he had a poster and fan book gripped in his hands on his way out of the gym. The coaches are wonderful people, very kind, supportive and inspiring. Mr. D and I are holding our breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I almost hate to write about it, so desperately do I want Mr. T to get fired up about something! But so far, so good.

I've finished reading The Heiress of Water by Sandra Roderiguez Barron. Great plot, lovely writing, gave a lot to think about. I just started Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund. I was intimidated by it's length (500 pages), but it's reading quickly. I've never read anything about Marie Antoinette and I'm not disappointed by this. On deck: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and The Savage Garden by Mark Mills.

Lady Violet, our beloved cat, has a gentleman caller. This huge shaggy black tomcat has sat on our front porch the last couple nights serenading her. And by "serenade" I mean yowling at the top of his lungs. Violet hasn't budging from her perch on the couch. He sees her through the window and paces madly back and forth. I imagine if he's bellering "Stella! Stella!" like this old tomcat:

My, what high-waisted pants you wear, Mr. Brando.
My how the bloom fell off your rose over the years...

In domestic breakthroughs, Team Testosterone has been trained to lift the toilet seat when they pee. I cleaned bathrooms on Monday and even today the seats are clean enough to sit on! Not a dribble! Not a drop! Their aim still leaves a bit to be desired--the floor around the toilet won't earn me any bragging rights with Martha Stewart, but clean seats! A major accomplishment. Next up: learning how to shut dresser drawers after opening them. We're aiming high, people. Well, we're aiming with the seat up.

Spill it, reader. What's happening in your neck of the woods lately?


  1. Finally we have gotten a sane recycling program here in Baltimore County. I just bought my new bin and recycling can with great pride. We used to have to separate paper from plastic/glass, and the materials they took were limited. Now we can recycle just about everything--even aluminum foil. And everything goes out together for one weekly pick-up. We're looking forward to our trash dwindling!

  2. GG - How about running for the school board -- those would be some great posts!

    How are those wrestling gym smelling these days? Back when J wanted to participate in wrestling..until he realized it was an individual sport... I would do anything not to have to take him to the gym..the smell was...GROSS

  3. What's happening in my neck of the woods? It's finally snowing! We're expected to get quite a bit (for here anyway), but we'll see if that actually happens.

    So funny you mentioned "A Streetcar Named Desire" I was about to do the same in a post as well! Ha!

  4. I can totally see you in a position of leadership in your community. Go for it!

    And Yay for clean toilets. :)

  5. Good for you to want to make a difference! Our town is small and old...traditions run deep! Hence our reason to home school!
    How in the heck did you get your boys to lift the lid?!?!!!! I HaTe sitting down in a hurry, only to sit in dribble! Ewwww!

  6. Don't you love it when they discover their passion?

    After years of baseball, soccer and basketball--fun, but that was about it--discovering water polo was huge.

  7. I'm giggling over a 500-page book titled "Abundance"...

    Here? Suddenly overwhelmed by the volume of work at work after weeks of not enough to do...but last week the boss told me I handled an event "perfectly, from soup to nuts"...possibly, just maybe, a cute guy at the gym is trying to hit on me. I am completely block-headed in this area, so it could be my imagination (I might have to blog about this if I can figure out how to do it without sounding desperate or full of myself)...I have lost 9 lbs since the first of the year and my body is rebelling by craving homemade baked goods. Pray I get through the weekend without succumbing.

  8. Here's hoping that Mr. T. sticks with wrestling. One of my girls has soccer and horseback riding, both of which she's been doing for years. My other girl, however, hasn't found her thing yet.

    After you train your boys to close their dresser drawers, will you get my girls to pick up their dirty laundry every day?

  9. I second the school board idea. You would be perfect! After hearing about some less than ideal situations from parents and teachers in my district I considered running for school board but I can't handle that stress right now.

    We are working on "no whining" rules for my girls (ages 4&6). I should mention we have been working on them for years and it has gotten much better, but not good enough. The turning point was last summer when I had them by myself for only 24 hours and had had enough! We were at the lake too and doing fun things so there was no excuse for bad behavior! I couldn't take it anymore, the fighting, the whining, the tattling, the lack of sharing....I lost my temper and while the girls were in their respective time-outs on separate couches I went to the table and drew up a contract on yellow legal pad listing 9 rules and 7 consequences to breaking the 9 rules. Big writing in all caps so they could read it! After 20 minutes of writing I put them on the same couch and made them memorize and recite back to me all 9 rules and 7 consequences. This lasted almost an hour. Then they had to sign on the line above their name that they understood the rules and consequences. My husband walked in after our 1.5 hour "session" and asked what happened. I told him there is a reason he is the stay-at-home parent and not me (I have no patience), but I just made new rules and everyone was going to follow them. I'm sure I broke some child psych or disciplinary "rules" with my methods, but it has been working for the most part ever since. The contract goes with us everywhere and since it is yellow with red printing they know what it is when I pull it out and make them recite it which is usually before we arrive at someone else's house or we have guests over. My fun-they are only x years old give them a break-stay-at-home husband turned into more of a disciplinarian (thank god) because I think he caught on that when mom's not happy, nobody's going to be happy!

    Well, that got longer than intended. Back to work!

    BTW - one of those wrestlers is my facebook friend so I can put you back in touch if you want some pointers.

  10. they've learned to lift the toilet seat!?? Bring on the party!!!!!!

  11. Yeah for Mr. T! I know how exciting that is to see your child get excited about something. Perhaps one of the draws of wrestling is that he "discovered" it on his own. It is all his. Very independent. :)

    My oh my. I forgot how yummy Mr. Marlon used to be. Whew!

    You are so inspiring to me. I love that when something bothers you you actually DO something about it. Most people (myself included) usually just complain about it. Well done! :)

  12. "Abundance" is on my reading list as well. "The Other Boleyn Girl" was a great read.

    We've got Kid #2's birthday tomorrow, so most of the weekend centers around that.

    I'm anxious to hear how your recycling agenda goes. I've been tossing around the idea of taking on my town as well...

  13. Seeing you now have the same experience as Ms. Palin, perhaps a political office is in your future!

  14. Knitting away over here....getting geared up for Valentine's day...One of my FAV holidays! I've always loved hearts, and I'm a hopeless romantic! Gonna get the decorations up this weekend...took the snowmen stuff down :(

  15. HAHA! I love it! I remember those days oh so well. All of it! My boys found their niche with soccer and baseball...but soccer won out in the end. One played through college and now at the age of 29 plays on a team still and the other at 26 plays soccer, baseball and every other sport available in the mountains of Colorado! My daughter was a swimmer through high school. She did some softball and chorus and band. Swimming was the only thing she really liked. Sometimes it's hard to find that certain thing. I give you so much credit for allowing him to try things. A lot of parents wouldn't do that and it's important because they are all so different.

  16. Oh, Green Girl. I adore you.

    I know you will find the perfect way to channel your energies in regard to Your Fair City ... just like how Mr. T. will find the perfect way to channel his. Maybe it will be wrestling! (For him, not you ... although that would be cool, too.) I, too, dated a wrestler, but during season ... I had trouble watching and took Silly Putty to every meet so that I had something to do with my hands.

    Congrats on the bathrooms. Sounds silly, I know, but having shared a bathroom with my younger brother ... dude, congratulations. Seriously.

  17. Your oldest sounds like he's a great candidate for a liberal arts college. I didn't say that to be spooky, either. :)

  18. Yesterday's happenings:
    missed a mamogram appt (was scheduled for Thurs and I was 24 hours late), then
    beat myself up for bonehead mistake, then
    made an elaborate meal out of Moosewood that was pretty much a flop, then
    delivered leftovers to gutsy neighbors and walked in the glorious full moon moonlight. Found peace at last in the day. Was thankful for all the mistakes that led to that moment.

  19. I liked The Other Boleyn girl. I wish I could remember the book I read about Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. It was very sad, though. A fun one, sort of a sequel to that time is "Napoleon in Love" about Napoleon, Josephine, and all his mistresses.

  20. Hey, I dated a wrestler in high school too. And I was a cheerleader for it too-- but I never figured it out. I couldn't explain it if my life depended on it :-)

    Congrats on the toilet seat-lifting break through. That's HUGE!

    Enjoy the weekend.

  21. HOW did you get the boys to lift the seat?? I'm still working on it here. Do they put it back down, too? The other night I went to pee, leaving the light off so's not to disturb anyone, and sat on the RIM and nearly fell in. It was icky. I had "Seat! Be A Gentleman!" written on the rim, and it printed around my butt in mirror-image. Gotta use a permanent marker next time!

    Our aim is good though, the floor is okay.

    Bournemouth recycles 60% of our waste!! I think it works because everyone has two bins, one for garbage and one for recycling. The recycling one takes ALLLL recyclables, we don't have to sort anything out. It makes it so easy! In the kitchen we have two bins, one with a sign Max made that says 'RECICELING', and in there goes all glass, paper & cardboard, plastics 1 2 and 3, and cans. Everything gets rinsed out, so it's not very stinky, and the recycling centre sorts it all out. I love this system.

  22. My oldest used to wrestle, but I never really learned how points were given.

  23. Hi, Green girl - I've enjoyed reading your input at the WC and wanted to say hello...

    We live right at the edge of Austin, a town that loves think of itself as ultra green but recycling has been a sticking point, budget wise. Always duking it out with the bike lane folks :)...the effort has been somewhat half-hearted. Our kids are little so I feel personally responsible for about half the municipal solid waste some days, feeling guilt about not encouraging more from the city (there is recycling for in town garbage collection, but few options short of driving 25 miles for non-city service recipients - kind of defeats the effort)

    I admire your willingness to jump in where your community is concerned.

    Reading - nothing, sad to say, except a cookbook or two. Catching up on Netflix. February I'll read, I swear! Be well.

    Rachael (farmgirl, at the other place)

  24. Working and watching a whole lot of college basketball!

  25. I've got one word for you ... Hockey. Take him to a high school game ... he'll be hooked ...

  26. Thank u :) check out this emo boy hair on this blog:


Spill it, reader.